December 2, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
In the world of smartphones, some devices never cease to amaze us. And while it may not exactly be the HD2, the HTC Desire HD is certainly shows its lineage. HTC may have long declared end of upgrade support for this once flagship, the developer community hasn’t forgotten it at all, and it has been dual booted, made to natively run Ubuntu, given the latest HTC Sense ports, and received working ICS and Jelly Bean 4.1 custom ROMs. The latest in this series of developments for the device is the AOSP-based codefireX Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean ROM brought to us by XDA Senior Member synergye.
The ROM is completely open-source, and is built with an optimized Linaro toolchain for those who believe this helps performance. All features other than Bluetooth are working, and there are a lot of customization options to tweak it just the way you want. An additional kernel is also available from the same developer that brings several performance enhancements to the device on any Jelly Bean ROM.
With all the new devices being released, or about to be released, some might ask where the love is for older devices. OEMs haven’t been the greatest when it comes to delivering updates. Even if the device is capable of running it. However, that’s when the developers at XDA step in and deliver updates. The HTC Desire HD is one of those devices that just keeps on rolling. Not long ago, Sense 4.0 was more or less made stable. Now, Sense 4.1 has arrived.
XDA Recognized Contributor torxx has released the first Sense 4.1 ROM for the Desire HD. It just goes to show that OEMs really don’t always know what they’re talking about when it comes to what their devices can handle. It’s running full Sense 4.1 on top of Android 4.0.4 and contains a number of features. Some include:
Fully fixed camera
Sense 4.5 skins
Rooted with SuperSU
Extended Quick Settings
Advanced Power Menu
Team Blackout kernel
Excellent battery life
GPU UI Rendering
Better CPU Performance
init.d scripts support
Improved EXT4 System
Removed 3-dot menu
1% stock battery
Many other tweaks! (see tweak package)
While it is stable enough to be run as a daily driver, some users have reported assorted small issues—nothing serious, though. For the most part, it’s some HTC widgets not working, the tweak package causing some force closes, and other miscellaneous issues.
If you’d like to give the latest HTC Sense a shot on the Desire HD, check out the original thread.
We’ve recently posted a number of articles about a hybrid ROM known as PACman ROM. Originating on the Xperia Ray, it was later ported to the Samsung Galaxy Ace and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro. PACrom is now making it’s way across a number of other devices on XDA.
PACman merges some of the best features from Paranoid Android, AOKP, and CyanogenMod into one uber-featured ROM. The latest devices to receive a PACman port are the HTC Desire S and the old favorite, the HTC Desire HD, both thanks to XDA Senior member blindndumb.
The Desire S ROM should be considered a test ROM, with a number of known bugs at present, including problems with the front camera, speakerphone, and WiFi Hotspot.
The Desire HD ROM on the other hand is a little more functionally complete, with no known bugs.
If you own either of these devices and want a taste of a bit of everything all at once, this ROM might be the one for you.
Previously in HTC Desire HD development, there had been only one Sense 4 ROM that had camera and camcorder working. It was Virtuous ROM from XDA Recognized Developer chrisch1974. However, to use the same kernel on other Sense 4 ROMs meant losing other features such as WiFi. So, the driving attempt has been to get a kernel for the other Sense 4 ROMs so that they could have working camera and camcorder as well. Now that work has finally paid off.
XDA Senior Member ted77usa recently released a ROM that gives camera and camcorder support to Desire HD Sense 4 ROMs without losing WiFi. The breakthrough came after XDA Forum Member tgeorg was able to figure out the problem with the kernel. As tgeorg puts it:
The problem with the virtuous kernel is, the module for wifi is renamed from bcm4329.ko to bcmdhd.ko and also the firmware files are changed.
So I take one of the virtuous kernel updates for my camera chip and changed the name of the module from bcmdhd.ko to bcm4329.ko but this is not enough. If I insmod the name is still bcmdhd , this must be changed in the module at offset 582E4 from bcmdhd to bcm4329. then lsmod shows “bcm4329 440166 0 – Live 0xbf000000″ and also the firmware files from the virtuous rom must be taken to fully functioning. they are 7 files:
After that, tgeorg gave the proper list of files that needed to be compiled into a flashable zip for users that made everything work. From there, ted77usa released the kernels. Now, all ROMs using Sense 4 have camera and camcorder working without borking anything. With one of the biggest porting issues out of the way, the devs can now focus on fixing the rest of the problems. And HTC said it couldn’t be done. Oh HTC, you’re so silly.
For more info, check out the original thread.
August 16, 2012 By: David Watt
A few weeks ago, we reported on HTC’s disappointing decision not to provide an official Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Desire HD. Not even a petition with over 15,000 signatures was enough to persuade them to change their mind. It did however, force them to release an official statement:
We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision.
For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.
We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.
As we know, the developers here on XDA are never ones to let things lie. XDA Senior member QD2DC and the Team blackout development team have now given HTC a large two fingered salute by releasing the first fully functional Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich ROM with Sense 3.6. Ported over from an HTC Incredible S build, the ROM is 100% complete and has no known issues. The ROM also comes with Team blackout’s own custom kernel for additional performance.
If you’d like to give the ROM a try, head on over to the original thread.
July 23, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
For shame, HTC! Once promised an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, the HTC Desire HD received an update from HTC alright—just not the one everyone was expecting. On their blog, HTC has announced that they believe Desire HD users are better off without ICS. They state:
After extensive testing, we’ve determined that the current version of HTC Sense with Android provides customers with the best experience on the HTC Desire HD. When we consider new versions of software, we weigh a number of factors, but ultimately the customer experience on the product is the deciding factor. We apologize for any confusion this change may have caused our customers.
After a collective sigh, the DHD community has taken to action to get the update released despite HTC’s “extensive testing.” XDA Senior Member max63094 has started a petition. The goal is actually not to get an official ICS with Sense update, but rather something similar to what was done with the HTC Desire. Reportedly, the HTC Desire couldn’t handle Gingerbread with Sense on top of it, so HTC released a pure Gingerbread RUU, complete with source code release for the Desire. Desire HD users are looking for, at minimum, the same deal, as ROMs developed by the community have shown that the Desire HD can actually handle ICS quite well. As such, the petition is worded:
Now anyone over at XDA knows this is not true, ICS runs great on our phone plus it is also a better experience. Now this petition is to get HTC to release ICS for us, if they do not want to give us Sense, then they could do at least what they did for the HTC Desire, and release a pure Android on the HTCDev.com With the HTC Desire, they released a RUU because the phone could not handle sense with gingerbread, so they released a pure Android, and now they need to AT
LEAST do that for the Desire HD with ICS.
Nothing unreasonable, right? At the start of the petition, the goal was around 2000 signatures. The petition, at the time of this writing, has 4000+ signatures, so Desire HD users are really coming out and letting HTC know what they think. Of course, you don’t need to own a Desire HD to sign it. The satisfaction of knowing you’re helping correct an injustice is enough. One would think HTC would have learned by now. Maybe they just love receiving angry feedback from customers.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member Ditti4 for the original tip and the 25 other XDA and Twitter users for the encouragement!]
Among the newest devices to receive Jelly Bean include the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G Slide, Motorola Defy, and the HTC Desire HD. These devices are all a little older than some would expect to be receiving ports. But if the HTC HD2 can get it, newer devices should be able to as well.
The MyTouch 4G Slide Jelly Bean ROM was developed by XDA Senior Member xmc wildchild22 and is built from source. XDA Senior Member Quarx is responsible for the Motorola Defy ROM, and XDA Recognized Developer randomblame (also responsible for the Iconia A500 JB ROM) brought Jelly Bean to the Desire HD.
For all three ROMs, there’s a comprehensive list of things working and not working. For the MyTouch 4G Slide, here’s what isn’t working:
onscreen keyboard (I have to wait for the patches form CM for our hard keyboard phones)
For the Desire HD, which has a much shorter list:
mic – works in calls but crashes apps
audio routing – in phone calls audio comes out the rear speaker and when headset is plugged in audio comes out of both headset and speakers
There isn’t a running list of what’s not working on the Motorola Defy, but there is a list of things that are working:
Audio (thanks to maniac103)
For the MyTouch 4G Slide a
nd the Motorola Defy, the list of things not working is still pretty long—so they cannot yet be considered daily drivers. They are stable enough to try out, however, to see what Jelly Bean is all about. The Desire HD ROM, on the other hand, seems to be a bit more suitable for every day usage.
For additional information, download links, and more, click the corresponding link below:
Update: Between the time of writing and publishing, the Defy port has made incredible progress, now even featuring hardware acceleration. It is now suitable to many as a daily driver.
July 19, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
Not too long ago, we brought you news that allowed HTC EVO 4G LTE users to customize their bootloaders. The process was pretty cool, allowing users to make their bootloader look however they want—including making it look unhacked. After the initial project was released, users clamored for this to be made available to more devices. The requests were heard and responded to. Now, the plugin has been made available to make the bootloader customizer for a number of HTC devices.
The process for a developer to port this is not hard. XDA Recognized Contributor regaw_leinad, who developed the application and plugin, takes a time out from the stags (yes, that’s really him) to explain how:
it’s basically all written, they just need to fill in the values for their hboot, and embed the hboot.img into the exe. I already have a placeholder for the hboot.img and android-info.txt so a drag and drop over them should keep it embedded.
Regaw_leinad is also creating the application for the supported devices, but wanted to release the plugin first so users had a chance to get it sooner. The current list of supported HTC devices include:
While the list is quite large, one must keep in mind that not all of these devices have S-Off, and users must have S-Off in order to actually use this application. To get started, visit the original thread.
July 17, 2012 By: Joseph Hindy
We’ve covered various new ways that frequent flashers can back up their applications without using applications like Titanium Backup or MyBackup Pro. However, while the alternative methods may work better in some regards, they just can’t replace the classics in all situations. There is a new method on the HTC Desire HD that looks very promising, though.
The method is known as the Flashaholics Essential Pack. Put together by XDA Senior Member strawmetal, the Pack uses AROMA Installer to allow users to install a plethora of popular applications when flashed in a custom recovery. This, much like the App2Zip program linked above, is flashed right after a ROM flash, so apps are installed before the ROM even boots for the first time.
For now, the Flashaholics Essential Pack is a little light on the goods. It includes a very decent number of applications—including GAPPS—but aside from GAPPS and essential utilities, there isn’t much else. Thus, you’ll still need to use other applications to restore your other apps. That may not be the case forever, as strawmetal has stated that there will be a tutorial written to help users customize their own Pack to install after ROM flashes. However, it is important to note that even if this is done, app data will not be backed up or restored.
For more details, check out the original thread.
[Thanks to XDA Senior Member androidindian for the tip.]
One of the most common questions here at XDA over the past several months has been, “When will my HTC device receive Ice Cream Sandwich?” Now, thanks to a tip from XDA Senior Member neoofoox we have our answer.
Although we previously mentioned the devices confirmed to get ICS from HTC’s blog back in March, it was only recently that HTC finally confirmed their timeline for this year’s releases. According to HTC:
What is the overall timeline of Android 4.0 updates?
The majority of devices will receive upgrades in June and July 2012 and we expect to finish upgrades in August 2012 for all announced devices.
When will my device get the Android 4.0 upgrade?
The target timeline for announced devices is below. Because of partner and network testing, and approval processes for device updates, it can take up to 45 days for all carriers and countries to get the update after a rollout has begun.
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC To be determined (by the end of August) HTC Amaze 4G May-June HTC Desire S June-July HTC Desire HD July-August HTC EVO 3D June-July HTC EVO 4G+ May-June HTC EVO Design 4G June-July HTC Incredible S June-July HTC Sensation March-June HTC Sensation 4G March-June HTC Sensation XE March-June HTC Sensation XL April-Jun HTC Rezound June-July HTC Rhyme June-July HTC Thunderbolt July-August HTC Velocity 4G March-June HTC Vivid March-June
Please note these dates are targets and may shift due to testing and approvals.
For a detailed look at when your specific device will be getting a taste of frosty Android goodness and several other questions answered, head on over the official page and salivate over your upcoming good fortune.
It feels as thought the quest for better GPS reception and faster GPS locks has been ongoing for a very long time. However, Android users can actually do something about it, as fixes and tweaks to improve GPS have been forthcoming on virtually every rooted Android plagued by GPS woes. While not strictly having any GPS issues to begin with, the HTC One S now joins the fray with a few tweaks to help improve GPS for users.
The tweak, originally seen on the Desire HD and One X, comes from XDA Senior Member MacroHD. It is available in the form of an easily recovery-flashable update.zip. Users who use this may not see an immediate improvement to their GPS, but MacroHD assures users that it is, in fact, faster. One S owners who want to attempt this should give that GPS Status app a try to help expedite the process. Otherwise, this looks like a nice, safe, and simple tweak to help GPS work more rapidly faster. The mod itself involves a variety of build.prop tweaks as well as gps.conf_V3 tweaks. In his words:
with the faster_gps_fix you may not see a faster result at first try. thats because your device have to redownload the a-gps data. so make sure you have a data connection.
you also can redownload the a-gps data manuall with a market app called GPS-Status for example.